May 29, 2014 7:23 pm

Reports: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to buy LA Clippers for $2B

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer responds to a shareholder question during the Microsoft Shareholders Annual Meeting November 19, 2013 in Bellevue, Washington.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

TORONTO – The Los Angeles Times and ESPN are reporting that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has put a bid of $2 billion in to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers.

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If the offer goes through it will be the highest price ever paid for an NBA team and the second highest for a pro sports team in North America (the L.A. Dodgers were sold in 2012 for an estimated $2.1 billion).

The NBA fined current Clippers owner Donald Sterling $2.5 million and banned him for life from attending any NBA game after an audio tape of Sterling saying racist remarks was leaked last month.

Although Sterling said he would fight to keep his team, he reportedly gave his estranged wife Shelly Sterling approval to sell.

READ MORE: Donald Sterling to give control of LA Clippers to wife

“She would have to be willing to go through with a sale that gave her absolutely no retained ownership interest in order to satisfy the league,” Daniel Lazaroff, director of the Sports Law Institute at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, told The Associated Press.

“If she did that, I don’t think the league would stand in her way. If she wants to retain any portion of ownership it wouldn’t work.”

The NBA set a June 3 hearing where owners are expected to vote to terminate Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers.

Three-quarters of the 29 other team owners need to vote in favour to force the sale of the team.

Ballmer, 58, is worth an estimated $20 billion. He was CEO of Microsoft from 2000 until earlier this year, when he stepped down from the company.

-With files from The Associated Press

© Shaw Media, 2014

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